Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The Blenheim Triathlon 

14/06/15 - Been a little lazy since the Manchester marathon so the Blenheim triathlon was a good way to kick me back into training. My wife offered to come along to support so what was a trip there on race day became a weekend in a lovely 5* spa hotel, not that I'm complaining. So after work on the Friday we set off to the Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel in Minster Lovell in the Cotswolds where we were watched as we parked the car by Parker the cat. He watched us park then came over for stroke and to do his job of welcoming new guests to the hotel.

Parker the cat

Having a sleep after a busy day
We got settled into our room that had a lovely conservatory at the front and a small garden at the rear then went for a meal.
Morning coffee.
Next day we went for a walk, I got us a little lost, we got very wet but managed to find a really nice pub for a beer..... or two.

Having got back to the hotel soaked we dried out, had a massage and cracked open a bottle of Processco. Which was nice. So suitably refreshed I was up early for the race on Sunday. Nice full breakfast, car loaded and we were off. To be honest I was not looking forward so much to this race. I'd done very little swimming since last year and not as much cycling as I'd have liked. Also I'd decided that this was my last triathlon as I was not doing the swim training and was a bit fed up with the faffing about on race day. Still I was there and I'd paid for it. I got set-up in transition chatted a short while with a mate whose wife, Sam, was competing and also in my race wave before I walked round to the swim start. In the water and before I know it we're off. The swim was OK, I placed myself outside the group so that I could have a clear swim and I pretty much did. It seemed a lot further that last year and the swim from the last buoy to the exit definitely felt a lot further than last year. Reading some posts on Facebook it seems many people were saying the same thing and people with GPS were recording distances of 840 to 860 meters. This would explain why I was 2 minutes slower (that and my lack of training).

Swim stage complete, off to T1, Sam chasing my tail.
Came out of the swim was powering (stumbling) up the hill when I hear "Stuart!" and look behind to see Sam just behind me. I wave and storm (stumble) on. I hit transition determined to do better than the woeful 6 minutes 48 seconds it took me to complete T1 last year. 6 minutes and 48 seconds later I exit T1 and mount my bike. 

Very very fast ..... honest.
I set off and immediately have issues with the gears. The derailleur must have been misaligned or something, like I have a clue, as the chain would slip, gear would jump etc. Bloody annoying but hey ho I was quick on the downhills (small and heavy wins downhill).

Struggling with the gears.
Finished my 3 laps feeling OK and I was out on the track for the last 5.8k run. I decided just to enjoy this last bit and not to push too hard. The weather was lovely and the views stunning so it was easy to enjoy the run.
Up the hill
 Two laps done and a sprint to the finish, a drink, a bite to eat and the chance to buy some merchandise.

Winner - probably.
Had a great day, it's a great event and though I'll not do it again for a while it as good fun.

My medal
Just the Spitfire Scramble to train for in August, and I really have to step up the training and a 1/2 marathon back at Blenheim Palace in October and that's it for the year. I need to start planning next years events :)

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